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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  CBS  January 16, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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captions by: caption colorado, llc (800) 775-7838 from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. "the mclaughlin group" is brought to you by met life, guarantees for the "if" in life. issue one. haiti's hell. >> i'm very sad. because a lot of people died, a lot of people are suffering, and i'm very sad because my country is in great difficulty. >> haitian president says he cannot even go home.
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the presidential residence was destroyed. haiti this week was the victim of a 7.3 richter scale, that's maximum severity, earthquake that leveled most of haiti's capital, port-au-prince. haiti's parliament, government ministries, hospitals, schools, hotels, homes were demolished. the death toll is expected to reach 100,000 and over 3 million stand in need of emergency relief. a third of the population. the country is reeling. >> we need more people down here! >> are they alive? >> people are losing everything they have. >> on thursday, president obama promised help that would include both the coast guard and the u.s. navy. also, 5,550 infantry soldiers and marines will be sent. president obama addressed the haitian people themselves on thursday. >> to the people of haiti, we say clearly and with conviction, you will not be forsaken. you will not be forgotten.
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in this, your hour of greatest need, america stands with you. i'm also announcing an immediate in million to support our relief efforts. >> the death toll is undergoing constant revision. it is now 50,000 and as low as 10,000. question, in addition to humanitarian reasons does the u.s. have a strategic interest in rebuilding haiti? pat buchanan? >> john, i don't think we can rebuild haiti. look, what happened here is this earthquake happened at the worst possible place it could in the hemisphere, almost in the world, in port-au-prince, a town of 2 million people where the building construction standards are very, very low, and these houses have pancaked onto people and the buildings have. they are in their tombs, quite frankly, and unfortunately a lot of them that could be saved here in america will not be saved there. john, i'm glad the president, quite frankly, put in the 82nd
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airborne and u.s. marine corps, because this brings out the best in people. a lot of folks going down there, and brings out the worst in a lot of people. as the battle for food and water and things like that break out, i think you are going to go to martial law. they will do this. they will have a hemispheric force in there while the rebuilding goes on. that will be after the airborne and marines are pulled out. >> a strategic interest in rebuilding haiti. do we have one? beyond the humanitarian need? >> they are very close to our shores. we have significant haitian populations in florida, new york, washington, d.c. i suppose you could say there's an electoral component here, if you will, but i agree with pat. i think this does bring out the best in people. in a time of such heightened partisanship in washington it's wonderful to see the whole world flocking to help. cuba's saying that american planes can use the airspace,
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and the fund-raising effort using text messages raising millions of dollars. and i think in terms of rebuilding haiti, there is an opportunity here to rebuild it with the same promises that were made after new orleans. and new orleans has made some progress with their school system but yeerve got president clinton leading an investment effort which began before in happened. and you have a government there that's not defined by corruption. so there's some opportunity here in the wake of this very horrible tragedy. >> from the time the united states became a global power and i'm thinking back to the monroe doctrine about the united states and our sphere of influence, you are asking about strategic interest in rebuilding haiti. i do think that there is interest on the part of the united states strategically to engage haiti and make sure that this epic human catastrophe resolves itself, and this is going to take a very long time, but look, the united states was
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the first one to announce humanitarian help. we're always the biggest contributor when natural disasters happen in the world. no other country on the face of the earth in the history of the world does more to help people in situations like this than the united states of america. we always deliver. the question is, how best to do this? and when you look back since 1992, since the clintons were in office, what you've seen is a dedication of $3 billion from the united states going into haiti. it is still incredibly poor despite all of this effort on the part of the united states and other nations. in fact, haiti has the greatest number of nongovernmental organizations, ngos, aid groups per capita so the question is where has all of this aid money gone? if we're going to take on this rebuilding, if we're going to take on trying to reinstitute order in haiti, it's got to be
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with? sort of garn -- with some sort of guarantee that we will have a government there that's not going to be corrupt and all of the resources we are willing to pour in. >> we occupied haiti for a period of almost 20 years from 1915 to 19 what? >> '34. >> also bill clinton sent in 20,000 troops into haiti, so we have to be careful of a variety of different national security reasons about haiti for the sake of the haitian people, lest they are victimized further by chavez or castro. >> that's a good point, and also, drug trafficking, et cetera. i'm not going to say al qaeda's going to move in, but we have seen all around the planet that unstable governments lead to an anarchy and a breeding ground for crime and subversion. right down on the ground a country as close to us geographically as haiti it is
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the poorest country in the hemisphere. they have 9 million people, 2 million in port-au-prince, which is the heart of of where the earthquake hit. this is a ka fas if i that comes right at a time where ironically haiti was beginning to recover from the the wave of political unrest you talked about in the '90s as well as in '08. they had four hurricanes and storms, a smaller earthquake. they have had one plague after another with the haitian people. they are remarkably resilient. i've been there twice in the last six years. their enterprise is just unsinkable. at the same time, there's about 50,000 haitians in the u.s. who are undocumented for one reason or another, either in process or illegal, who right now obama's holding back on awarding them temporary status to be able to legally work. but just in general, the
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haitian dias pra provides one- fourth of their gdp in haiti. i think other countries have been given that status and haitians should be given at least that temporary status so they are able to help their economy. >> you remember the series of dictators that have lived there? >> i wasn't around for all of them, john, but i'm well aware of them. >> papa doc and baby doc i remember well. >> and aristide fled with $9 million. this is the kind of epic corruption that haiti has suffered under. >> he's a good catholic priest, john, father after the ristide was. >> and rich now, too. >> on a probability scale, zero to infinity, what's the probability that haiti in ten years will house one of the top three most strategic u.s. military bases? zero to infinity. >> zero.
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>> three. >> ten. >> i say zero. it's too small really. it wouldn't be practical. the doe min cab republic next door would be likely. >> i think it's very likely. i'll give it a ten on a ten scale. are you reducing infinity to a ten? >> i was saying ten. >> ten meaning minuscule? >> we have guantanamo bay. when we come back, is massachusetts turning red? when planning for retirement these days, the forecast is full of ifs. if i'm too exposed to downturns. if i'll go through my savings too fast. to help you feel more confident consider putting a portion of your savings in a metlife variable annuity. when the market goes up, it gives your assets a potential to grow. while protecting you if the market goes down with a steady stream of income. let america's number one annuity provider help you stay on course with guarantees for the if in life. get answers about annuities at
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years in the u.s. senate. the democratic nominee to replace teddy is martha coakley. cokely is the attorney general for the state of massachusetts. >> we're working hard to win. we've never paid attention to polls during this race either in the primary or the general. >> maybe you should, martha, according to polls. your race is very tight. the democrats are afraid of losing the seat. if brown pulls off an upset, he will be the first republican senator to represent massachusetts in more than 30 years. but the stakes are even higher than that. if brown wins, the democrats will lose their u.s. senate 60- seat majority making it no longer filibuster proof. then republicans could block the democrats and president obama's centerpiece legislation, the health insurance reform bill, on which obama's secohe goes for it, depends.
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question. is it smart that president obama changed his plan and will rush to massachusetts to campaign for the democratic candidate, martha coakley? eleanor? >> yes. the democrats do need to pull out all the stops. scott brown is a very attractive, very glib, very smooth candidate and has all of the energy of the tea party movement behind him. and the democrats got complacent. they figured it's kennedy's seat and brown says it's not kennedy's seat, it's the people's seat, which is a good response. there was a little bit of the overconfidence that you saw, also, when it was speculated that caroline kennedy would fill the seat in new york. people don't like this sense that the seat is sort of passed on. so the democrats can just be grateful that the polls came out showing him closing ten days before the race because they have time now to mobilize the democratic machine. >> well, they've got to get out the vote. that's why he's going probably. >> here's the problem, john. brown was, as of friday, four
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points ahead. he's got the energy, the fire and the passion and the tea party thing. the democratic army is three time as large as the republican army. the problem is, is that democratic army? it has never been in combat for 20 years because it walks victory. that's what obama is doing. they've got to rally that democratic base and get them out. if i had to bet last week, would i have bet on cokely. i would see it's even money now. this guy is surging. he could win this thing. that would be an earthquake in politics. >> he said it's not the kennedy seat, not the democrat seat it's the people's seat. in that one fell swoop, he took a swat at elite entitlement. i think obama may be making a mistake by going up there. remember, he campaigned last year for jon corzine in new jersey and also the democratic candidate in virginia and both of those races were lost to the republicans. the key issue in massachusetts right now is health care
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reform. >> you know who asked that question? >> it's unpopular. if obama goes up there, i think it could boomerang against the democrats. >> the question is, who's going to get out more of the vote, clinton or obama? >> is that the contest there? gee whiz, i thought you were going to ask who's going to win the election. i think there is a risk for obama going up because once again, he's got to lay his reputation on the line so to speak. but he has no choice because that's 60 votes. that's what's at stake here and health care is his primary domestic issue. >> john, you know who asked the question, was our friend, he asked when he came back for the people's seat was our friend david gurgi ncht. i agree with eleanor and clarence. he has got to go. if he loses the seat it's going to be katy bar the door and all that at stake.
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>> but it would be such a huge embarrassment for him. >> either way. >> if you look at the polls even in the state of massachusetts which has romney care, a version of obama care. most of the people of massachusetts are already insured by the state plan. they want no part of this because it will be a net cost to the voters and taxpayers. >> if obama doesn't go -- if obama doesn't go, she doesn't win, obama will take the rap. so therefore obama has to go. exit question, if republican brown wins, will the senate majority, democratic majority seat the new republican member right away as is the custom or will the democratic majority first schedule the vote on health care? do you understand the question? >> yeah. they will try to schedule it right away. they'll go back to olympia snowe, i think and they'll go with the public option and the trigger, whatever she wants. they'll try to bring her aboard. if they don't get her aboard, it goes down, john. >> and our friend joe lieberman
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will suddenly love the public option. look, they will count the absentee ballots one by one, by hand. and they'll take their time to seat him. it won't take six months what they did with senator franken, burt there is precedence for dragging their feet. >> if they do that, they are running a huge risk. if it is a bound out and they do not seat him right away, it will be anotherrer is seption of subversion of democracy here. in 2010 in november, the democrats will lose even more seats. >> they could do the role and burst ploy which is keep him out in the rain while they count the votes. >> the audience understands that the present replacement for ted kennedy is paul, what, kirby? >> kirk. >> paul kirk is a renowned democrat and will vote the right way. so that's the point. >> right. >> they can't play games. if brown wins, she's right and they hold him up, it'll be
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horrible for the democrats. >> i don't think the democrats can get away with it. i think they will have to seat him or her right away. issue three. reid rage. >> i've apologized to everyone under the sound of my voice that i could have used a better choice of words. >> it was a program for and apologies by senate majority leader harry reid this week. reid came under fire for comments he made while barack obama was running for president a year and a half keag ago, comments just published in a book titled "game change." reid told the authors that obama had a real chance to win because he was "light skinned with no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one." democratic reid apologized last monday but it did little to stave off criticism. notably, republican criticism. the gop demanded that reid step down from his leadership post.
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>> whether he steps down today or i retire him in november, either way, will not be the leader in 2011. >> precisely what was reid's offense, clarence? >> he was a democrat. all of the complaints here are coming from the republican side, number one. number two, harry reid was complimenting brp. obama was not offended. this is closer to the joe biden articulate gaffe than it is to the trent lott strom thurmond gaffe which is what the republicans were trying to make it into. harry reid's offense if anything, was he used a term that in today's political etiquette is not viewed as timely, showing he's out of touch with current vernacular. >> reporter: do you think reid was showing any bigotry towards black america? >> obviously not. i mean, does anybody say he is besides michael steele? michael steele said the word negro was racist. he ought to take that up with the yah nighted negro college
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found and conference of negro women. >> he said he meant that barack obamas with electable because he was not too black, right? that he was more carlton banks than suge knight. i think that's an insult to blacks. >> no it's an insult to voters if anything. [ all talking at once ] >> will you let her finish? >> i think it's an insult to black americans and all americans if that's the only way that he could get elected. >> come on, monica, you want to be offended because he's saying -- [ all talking at once ] >> you have to acknowledge the double standard that if mitch mcconnell or sarah pail hundred made this comment that would be the end of their comment. >> okay. [ all talking at once ] >> the ultimate reid shieldobam >> for him to have used some inartful language in trying to praise me, and for people to try to make hay out of that makes absolutely no sense. there was nothing mean spirited
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in what had he to say. he's always been on the right side of the issues. >> black conservative shelby steele says statements like this from mr. obama are meant to seduce whites. obama basically is a bargainer and appeals to white business communicating to them that he will not see them as racist, unquote. others say that president obama simply prefers to avoid battles that are racially charged, "he's not somebody who pours gasoline on racial controversy. i think he understands that he's the one who gets burned when that happens." not quite true. mr. obama did step into a racially charged fray last year. the arrest of the black conservative professor skip gates by the cambridge police. >> the cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already pr were home. >> question. was it a political imperative
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for president obama to pull reid back from the brink? patrick or eleanor? >> yes, it was. but it did not cause obama any heartburn because reid made those comments in the context of trying to get obama to run for president as early as 2006. he was assessing him as a candidate, and he thought his attributes, which are now being portrayed as negative in the way he recited them, but he saw them as attributes and believed that obama could win in a way that hillary clinton as a white woman, couldn't. >> mitch mcconnell would have been hanged had he said this, john. but clearly what reid is saying is that barack obama is a crossover candidate as an african-american the way jesse jackson is not. he's dead right just like jack kennedy was and al smith was not. >> you want to summarize this to untangle or retangle it?
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>> 100 years of history in five seconds, john, i'll try. >> you think it's much ado about nothing in the case of reid? >> you know, i'm serious when i said if anybody ought to feel insulted it's white voters out there. they should be shocked at the notion that anybody votes by color but it does happen. >> if obama's not insulted, why should we? we'll be right when planning for retirement these days, the forecast is full of ifs. if i'm too exposed to downturns. if i'll go through my savings too fast. to help you feel more confident consider putting a portion of your savings in a metlife variable annuity. when the market goes up, it gives your assets a potential to grow. while protecting you if the market goes down with a steady stream of income. let america's number one annuity provider help you stay on course with guarantees for the if in life. get answers about annuities at
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who wins massachusetts, brown or democrat cokely? >> brown wins, the revolution is on. >> i don't think so, brown has 65% of independent votes, he wins. >> brown wins, it will be short lived. >> brown wins. on monday, remember to salute the grea
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